It’s officially March Madness season with the 2024 NCAA Tournament finally getting underway this week. Let’s take a look at some NCAA Tournament best bets and futures picks to wager on.




These March Madness predictions could also come in handy as you fill out those brackets. Can UConn make it to the Final Four again? Will Gonzaga, Duke, or others make a Sweet 16 run? We’ll break it down below in these March Madness picks and NCAA Tournament predictions before the games get going. 

If you missed it, check out my articles on March Madness sleepers1st Round Upset picks, and NCAA Tournament favorites

NCAA Tournament Predictions: 2024 March Madness Bracket Picks & Odds

UConn March Madness Predictions: To Make Final Four (+110 at FanDuel)

The defending national champs have perceivably the hardest path for any No. 1 seed, but UConn is a juggernaut. Yes, the Huskies could have a sneaky-tough second-round matchup vs. FAU or Northwestern and then would have to beat Auburn, Iowa State, and/or Illinois en route to the Final Four. 

Still, they’ve been dominant all season long and proved it by winning the Big East Tournament. UConn has the top-ranked offense in the country and is 11th in defensive efficiency, per KenPom. The Huskies’ offense is very balanced with multiple playmakers who can step up if others are struggling. 

Big East Player of the Year Tristen Newton is Connecticut’s do-it-all guard, center Donovan Clingan and wing Alex Karaban are key holdovers from last year’s title team, transfer Cam Spencer is a knockdown three-point sniper, and stud freshman Stephon Castle is a future NBA Draft lottery pick. This team is loaded and is the rightful favorite to win it all, let alone reach the Final Four out of the East bracket. 

Furthermore, UConn gets a very favorable draw in terms of location. It plays in Brooklyn for the first two games and then Boston for potential Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups. The Huskies fans will surely pack those stadiums and give them a notable “home court” advantage.  




Gonzaga March Madness Predictions: To Make Sweet 16 (+135 at BetMGM)

If you missed it, check out my breakdown of Gonzaga as an NCAA Tournament sleeper team. Time to back it up with this bet on the Zags to reach the Sweet 16. 

Head coach Mark Few has led Gonzaga to the Sweet 16 in eight straight NCAA Tournaments. He’s done it both with No. 1 seeds and some under-the-radar squads. This year’s team falls in that latter category as a 5-seed, but don’t count them out. 

The Zags boast a top-10 offense that averaged nearly 85 PPG this season and plays at a quick pace. If you look at Gonzaga’s rankings in the NET (17th) and KenPom (15th), it’s underseeded in the bracket. No. 12 seed McNeese State will have to match the Zags on the scoreboard to have any chance at a first-round upset. That’s a tall task for the Cowboys, who rank 282nd nationally in tempo. 

McNeese ran through the Southland Conference this year, but Gonzaga is by far its toughest opponent of the year. If Gonzaga gets past McNeese, it’ll face the winner of Kansas and Stamford in the Round of 32 with a Sweet 16 berth on the line. Well, Samford is very likely to pull an upset over the Jayhawks as noted in my first-round predictions. 

Gonzaga could find itself in another easier second-round matchup if it is Samford. If Kansas does survive, it’s still a banged-up team with a severe lack of depth. Take the Zags to reach the Sweet 16 for a ninth straight NCAA Tournament. 




Creighton March Madness Predictions: To Make Sweet 16 (-190 at BetMGM)

Compared to other No. 3 seeds in the bracket, Creighton has a favorable path to the Sweet 16 – assuming it doesn’t suffer an early upset. The Bluejays should get by Akron in the first round with relative ease. Head coach Greg McDermott has led Creighton to at least the second round in six of eight Tournament appearances and four straight, including an Elite Eight showing last year. 

After that, it’s the winner of South Carolina vs. Oregon in the second round. Both teams rank further down advanced metrics compared to Creighton. Per KenPom, the Gamecocks are 49th while the Ducks are 55th. 

Oregon wouldn’t be in the bracket if it didn’t win the Pac-12 Tournament and as impressive as that run was, this is still a team that went 7-8 in the second half of the regular season. South Carolina, meanwhile, just lost by 31 to Auburn in the SEC Tournament and recently has underperformed against top-tier competition. 

As for Creighton, it ranks 11th in KenPom with a top-12 offense and a top-24 defense. They still boast the core of last year’s Elite Eight team and should be motivated to go further this time around. 

The Bluejays have as good of a “Big 3” as any team in the country with Ryan Kalkbrenner, Baylor Scheierman, and Trey Alexander providing consistency and trustworthy playmaking. Steven Ashworth is the X-factor and can get hot from three-point range in any given game. This is a dark horse Final Four team, but we’re just betting to reach the Sweet 16. 




Duke March Madness Predictions: To Make Sweet 16 (-115 at BetMGM)

In last year’s NCAA Tournament, Duke lost in the second round to Tennessee – which was a massive disappointment compared to a Final Four run the year prior. Let’s back the Blue Devils to avenge the early exit and reach at least the Sweet 16 this time around. 

The vibes on Duke are low right now after losing to North Carolina at home in the regular-season finale and then going one-and-done in the ACC Tournament. But outside of Kentucky, Duke may have the most overall talent on its roster in college basketball. 

Kyle Filipowski, Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, and Mark Mitchell all chose to stay instead of going pro and they give the Blue Devils some valuable experience at multiple positions. Then there’s star freshman Jared McCain, who is a talented scorer from all three levels and a future NBA pick. Duke is a dangerous team when McCain, Roach, and Proctor are all playing at a high level and Kyle Filipowski is dominating in the paint. 

Duke will face 13-seed Vermont in the first round, and it should be a safe win. The Catamounts have lost five straight first-round matchups when in the NCAA Tournament and haven’t been able to get over that hump. Vermont will be at a severe athletic and pure talent disadvantage vs. Duke here. 

Then it’s either Wisconsin or James Madison in the second round. Wisconsin got hot in the Big Ten Tournament, but it struggled mightily before that. The Badgers went 3-8 in the final month-plus of the regular season and we could see them revert back to that level. James Madison could be dangerous, but Duke’s overall talent should carry them through. 

Finally, it’s worth noting Duke’s “home court advantage” early in this bracket. Duke has fans everywhere, but especially in the NYC area. The Blue Devils will surely benefit from playing its first and second-round games in Brooklyn where their fans can pack the stadium. Expect them to beat Vermont and then Wisconsin/James Madison to get to the Sweet 16.